Within a coalition of 50 associations the "Beat the Microbead" collective, including Surfrider Foundation Europe, takes constant action against microbeads in cosmetic products. From February 14th to February 20th, share our tweets and raise awareness on this environmental disaster!

Microplastics : a plague for the oceans

Since 2012, the NGO Plastic Soup coordinates the "Beat the Microbead" campaign. By raising awareness, the aim of this campaign is to prevent the plastic microbeads present in cosmetics from finishing up in the ocean. This being only possible with the ban of their use in the industry.

These microplastics – that appear as very tiny particles almost invisible to human eyes - are present in a lot of cosmetic products such as deodorants, shower gels, hair sprays, shaving foams and many other make-up and body care articles. Unlike the ongoing definition used by the cosmetic industry is saying, scrub treatments aren't the only products incriminated!


Why are they so harmful to the environment? They are harmful because they end up on our skin, in the sewage, and then they eventually end up in the rivers and the oceans. When they are in the rivers and the oceans, they are ingested by marine life which often confuse them with their food. Through this process the micro-plastics integrate the food chain and since human are involved in the food chain, it is very likely that we will indirectly end up eating them.

In addition, these plastic particles are not biodegradable and once they are released in the marine environment, they are impossible to remove. Agglomerated together, the tiny particles ultimately contribute to the plastic soup swirling around the world's oceans.

Pictures of the ongoing campaign on the Social networks:

Take action with Surfrider on the social networks

The first week of this new campaign is particularly targeting lipsticks from different brands as well as all producers using those micro-plastics in the composition of their products. The incriminated components are polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and copolymer acrylates. These materials have been found in the products of popular brands such as Maybelline, Loreal, Clinique or Estée Lauder.

From February the 14th, symbolic date of Valentine's Day, and until February the 20th, NGOs and collective associations will keep publishing posts on their social networks in order to denounce this important issue. All those posts will be published at the same time each day in order to maximize the impact of the campaign. In an effort to increase the virality of those posts, we need your support! Tweet, share, post, retweet! Get involved and raise awareness with us!

An app to help us know which products to avoid

The North Sea Foundation and Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF) have developed a smartphone application allowing us to check whether a product contains these micro-plastics. To find out if a product contains some, you just have to scan its barcode with your phone camera.

The next step is to develop this app within as many countries as possible. Consumers around the world are encouraged to participate and enrich the database themselves by uploading photos and descriptions. The more products will be registered in the app the more we will be able to challenge the producers and make them stop this disastrous practice.

Put an end to the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics is from now on an international campaign.

Join the movement!

For more information about microbeads in cosmetic products, look up the PNUE report « Plastic in Cosmetics », 2015.

Or else, go and read our other articles about microbeads.

Traduction : Lea Daulan

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